almost twenty years my lighting was always done with a large grip truck just off the set. That means for years and years I only lit with a large grip package at my disposal.  The size package that takes a commercial driver’s license to drive. I’m spoiled and used to having options.

When I decided in ’04 to take a different path there were a few items I’ve learned to live without. The gap in what I now do with equipment out of an SUV versus what I used to do out of a commercial driver’s license size truck has now narrowed. There are still days where I request a larger package than what I own. There is still a time and place where I need more gear. Camera and lighting and grip technologies have all made huge advances and I’m taking full advantage of them! (all of them!)

The biggest item defining the difference between large and small grip packages in the ability to control natural daylight. With a bug grip package large overhead panels to diffuse natural sunlight. These are items you can’t fit into an SUV package. They are also something you can’t fake. Until now that is…

How about a Sunswatter?  Not a Fly swatter.  A Sunswatter.

I had been looking at gear sold by Sunbounce for some time.  It’s made in France and has until 2007 been market solely to still photographers.  And, it’s expensive…

In April 2007 I couldn’t hold off my Sunbounce purchases any longer.  I was to light a “walk & talk” talent piece that started on the porch of a house and continued to the street.  50′, 75′, maybe 100′ plus!  Even a large grip package less than a tractor-trailer would not be enough gear.  Impossible out of an SUV.  Until now.

Visualize a 6’x8′ overhead diffusion panel that I can handhold (on a boom stick similar to what the noise guys use) and actually walk with talent or reposition as the camera moves.  It’s called a Sunswatter.  It’s just what it sounds like, a giant fly swatter for the sun.

I now have two Sunswatter Pro’s 6’x8′, two Sunbounce Pro’s, one Sunbounce Bug, and more Sunbounce items on the wish list.